Autumn’s Eve: Sharing the Joy of the Season With Our Children

I LOVE AUTUMN! I find that this is one of the most active and vibrant times of the year, more so than the lazy, hot summer or quiet and gently blossoming spring. IN the fall we have the wind and rain and leaves flying all about; we have the fascinating decay of the plants we have nourished over the past year; and we have the dusk coming closer and closer to our days, slowly wrapping us in quiet security. I LOVE sharing this time with children! There are SO MANY great folk songs, cooking activities and projects that we can share with even the littlest of people!

We all know about the common festivals of Autumn, but there are more than you think. As the season goes on, I will be posting about these specific festivals, but first I want to mention Michealmas Time! Just after the Equinox (on the 22nd this year) Michealmas time comes to us on the 29th of September. Your local Waldorf School will most likely have Michealmas Festivals open to the public and I urge you to go. As shared on the Parenting Passageway: “Michaelmas is an autumn festival that to me really opens up the season for the awakening of our souls as the weather gets colder, the light recedes, and we look toward strengthening our own inner reserves, our own inner strength. Michaelmas, as you can probably guess, is named for Saint Michael.  Michael was one of the four archangels, and is the angel who threw Lucifer out of Heaven.  He is the Angel of Courage, the Angel of the Fight Against Evil.  Take courage for the long, cold winter from Saint Michael!” To me, this is a time to focus deeply on my inner work and share in the strength building activities with our friends and family. This is a time for meditating, writing poetry, dancing and sharing the joy of Autumn with our children. These heart-warming activities will build our joy reserves for the harsh winter and Michealmas Day is a time to remember out work for this time.

There are so many great Autumn activities we can share with our children. Meditation and Inner work is not something we do WITH children, it is something we do for our children as a spiritually strong parent is essential. provides a good foundation for their own strength. On The Magic Onions Blog, I have found a treasure chest full of brilliant ways to share the joy of Autumn with your little ones. Here you will see great books to read, lovely nature table decor, finger games and songs and recipes to make with our children. Here’s a poem that she shares with us to share with our children, I find it lovely!

October gave a party;

The leaves by hundreds came –

The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,

And leaves of every name.

The Sunshine spread a carpet,

And everything was grand,

Miss Weather led the dancing,

Professor Wind the band.

~George Cooper, “October’s Party”

I would love to hear your thoughts on how to you celebrate this season, as you can never have enough ideas in your pocket on how to bring the joy of mother nature to your children.
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Intuition vs Information: Thoughts on The Parenting Method War

There is much debate about which parenting method is the ‘right’ one. It seems, at times, that I see wars going on all over the place; CIO vs. co-sleeping, Attachment parenting vs. Babywise, Day care vs. Stay at hom moms, etc. etc. etc. I’ve often thought that perhaps all of this debate is rather pointless. Perhaps all of this parenting advice is just helpful tools or even confirmations for us that we are doing the right thing for our children. We choose the philosophy that resonates with us the most and use that as our guide, and then we have these little people that join us in our world and get everything they need from our own individual styles as parents. They chose US as parents, and naturally we will give them everything they need to become the adults they are meant to be.

I chose a Waldorf/RIE method to follow for my parenting style and my profession. At the heart of Waldorf philosophy, the work we do is primarily of a spiritual nature. This could also be interpreted as intuition if you choose to see it that way. There are actually exercises and meditations we can do to stregthen this spiritual/intuitive quality in us as mothers. Some believe that we all have Spiritual helpers, or Angels, that help guide our way. As a woman who works with young children for my life’s work, I feel that this is so true for me. If I am actively working on my meditative/inner work practice, I am allowing myself to be open to divine intuition to help guide my way from day to day. I’m not thinking about how to work within a certain pre-determined method; I am listening to the moment. During a particularly challenging time, we can wait a few moment before we react and take a deep breath and the answer to the problem might be given to us.

Now, this is what I am experiencing in my work with children and it might be entirely different for everyone else, but the intuition is still there for each of us.  Whether you are following Angels and intuition or following a book, you are following your heart and doing exactly the right thing for YOUR children. Can you imagine a world where, instead of criticism and blame, we are surrounded by support and understanding? Can you imagine being out in public and not feeling self-conscious of your parenting but feeling empowered by the people around us? What are you thoughts on how to bring acceptance and trust for every mother and her own individual parenting method?

Children as Zen Masters

I recently read this article on Mothering.com about the Spirituality of Parenting. Mother Cheryl Dimof speaks of how our children are little Zen masters, living very fully in the moment. There is quite a bit we can learn from the way children go about their day. We could learn so much about ourselves and our children if we took the time to simply be present  in our daily activities. While we may not find the time everyday to make space for a meditative practice, we can make our daily activities meditative; slowly and purposefully doing the dishes or cutting vegetables and fruit with love and care. By doing this we can quiet our mind and create a peaceful mind space during our busy day.

Not only is having a meditative practice a gift to ourselves, but it is a gift to our children as well. In this post on Janet Lansbury’s blog about Magda Gerber, she gives two examples of how being zen-like can benefit our children:

“By holding back our impulse to teach, direct, or otherwise intervene when a child plays, we are often amazed by the child’s developing abilities. Through observation we gain insights into the origins of a host of psychological issues, major and minor. Some strike a chord. Parents have reported realizations in RIE parenting classes about personal issues that eluded them for years in psychotherapy.”

Quiet objective observation or what Gerber calls’ wants nothing’  quality time ” encompass a wide range of experiences, but all we are asked to do is pay attention and have no agenda of our own. It can mean being quietly available as a baby explores patterns of light on a blanket beneath him, or standing nearby while he has a screaming meltdown because he cannot have another cookie. It may be trickier to see the benefit for parents and caregivers in this latter scenario, but it is clarity. When we pay full attention to our child for intervals each day, no matter what the tone of our exchange or the outcome is, we are giving him the quality time he needs. We are doing our job.”

Taking care of children can be incredibly joyful as well as draining; I hope these articles can help bring a little peace to your day.

Here is a little video I captured that has 5 minutes of me observing my son. It is not as if he is doing anything particularly exciting, but he is just right there in the moment. I often wonder how he decides what he will do next in course of actions…